330 MODERN GERMAN LITERATURE might not be expected; but it is there - a naughty humour which comes natural to Ricarda Huch as a disciple of Gottfried Keller, as in the story of how the Civic Pri2e for Virtue is awarded to a girl who is virtuous because her lover is a stoker mostly at sea but who entertains him in bed while her mother and most of the street are on a holy pilgrimage. Ricarda Huch's other novels, except those with themes from history, have hardly more than academic interest. The problem of royalty outworn in a hustling world of business is dreamily approached in Von den Konigen und der Krone (1904): the son of a Slav king, while doctor at a hospital for children, marries the daughter of a German oil magnate. Here, if anywhere, the realism of Thomas Mann's Konigliche Hoheit was needed; but Ricarda Huch, refining her Romantic fancifulness, lifts earth to the clouds, which will not bear it. Der Fall Deruga (1918), an experiment in the criminal novel, is painful in the ir- reality of its realism: a doctor has given his dying wife, at her own request, a sleeping draught, and the court proceedings which the story reports try to bring home the crime to the culprit. Close scrutiny may find a loving care in the characterization of this doc- tor with an Italian name, but one cannot credit that anywhere a murder could be investigated in so strange a way. Both the close-packed style of Gottfried Keller and his ironical treatment of religion are closely imitated by Ricarda Huch in a series of short stories1 whose content varies from tragic or pathetic to quaint or grotesque. Keller had made his game of religion in the Gottmacher's tales in Der Grune Heinmh, and in Sieben'L.egenden (1872) he had transmuted the old Catholic legends of chastity into proof that nothing is closer to the heart of God than the joys of wedlock2 - His means to His purpose. In Der arme Heinrich, one of the tales of Fra Celeste und andere Er^ahlungen, Ricarda Huch reads the consummation of sexual desire into this physically most absurd of medieval legends. The anti-religious satire, though with- out coarseness, misses its mark by overstraining probability in Der Hahn von Quakenbruck (1910): Catholics and Calvinists dispute as to the punishment that should be meted out to the Mayor's cock for laying eggs with scarlet yokes; and in Lebenslauf des heiligen 1 Der Mondreigen von Schlaraffis (1896), Teufeleien (1897), Hademg im Kreu%- gang (1897), Fra Celeste und andere Er^ahlungen (1899), Seifenblasen (1905). Col- lected in two volumes as Er^ablungen (1919). Followed by Der nem Heilige (1920), Der wiederkehrende Christus (1926), Die Hugenattm (1930). 2 Rudolf G. Binding does the same in his ILegenden (p. 277).